Category Archives: humor

Character Actors & Life

Personally, I think this seemingly peripheral, slightly silly comment sparked what ended up with kind of a profound statement on life (transcript below)

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Transcript

Sindy Lee
2 hours ago via Twitter
Why I love character actors: Austin Pendleton both dungeon-wedding serial rapist & genius physicist based on Stephen Hawking on #LawAndOrder

Surajit Bose
I’m pretty sure Stephen Hawking isn’t a dungeon-wedding serial rapist.
about an hour ago

Sindy Lee
In an SVU ep on the former, Criminal Intent ep on the latter.
about an hour ago

Surajit Bose
Oh. 🙂
about an hour ago

Sindy Lee
I’ve watched so much of all flavors of Law and Order that this kind of thing happens all the time– same characters in different episodes across all flavors of the show as defendants, family members of defendants, defense attorneys, witnesses, random New Yorkers, victims, prosecutors, even cops and jury members.

It can be kind of a mind fuck, but also sort of a profoud statement on how, but for the grace of (insert deity, force of nature, or completely random good or bad luck of your choice here), any one of those people could be you/me.
42 minutes ago via mobile

Sindy Lee
After thinking about it a bit, I thought that was oddly deep. Unless you object, I think I’m going to publish this thread on my blog.
a few seconds ago via mobile

QI: Semantics

"QI" Logo My new favorite entertainment item/obsession is the British comedy quiz show “QI” (short for “Quite Interesting”). I won’t get into a detailed explanation of the format and rules, but briefly: host Stephen Fry asks his panel of four “contestants” questions on a variety of topics. Since the questions are usually very obscure, almost no one is expected to actually know the answers. Instead, the show and its appeal are more about the resulting, “quite interesting” and usually funny, often hilarious commentary and banter among the participants– especially since the guests are, by and large, comedians. And finally, I refer to the guests as “contestants” because, although points are awarded and deducted, the point system is, for the most part, seemingly arbitrary and irrelevant, much like that of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?“, another one of my favorite shows. For more complete and detailed info on the show, just check out the Wikipedia article.

Short "QI" Questions Animated GIF The show is a rather good example of the value in focusing on or enjoying the journey, not the destination. Interesting facts plus comedy– the perfect combination for me!* The show is a lot like many of my conversations except that, instead of among my friends and me, it’s among professional comedians, actors, etc. (and almost everything is in some kind of British accent). And luckily, even though (and because) I’m coming extremely late to the game, there are many years worth of series/episodes for me to watch and enjoy since the show has been running since 2003**. Of course, this is only thanks to YouTube since “QI” doesn’t air in the States– though there is a petition to get BBC America to broadcast the show to US viewers. If you’re a fan of the show, I encourage you to sign it– this tactic has already succeeded at least once when fans submitted a petition to get the first series released on DVD.

In any case, to the primary point of this post: Semantics and specifically a clip from Series A, Episode 4. Here’s a great example of one of the show’s many spontaneous, witty and amusing moments– in this case, a delightful bit of wordplay between host Stephen Fry and comedian Jeremy Hardy (jump to the 6:55 mark in the video):

STEPHEN
… I refute that with every fiber of my being. The actual answer is–

JEREMY
(interrupting)
No, you can’t refute it– that’s bad grammar, that, Stephen. To refute, you have to provide evidence. You mean “rebut”.

STEPHEN
No, I mean “repudiate”.

JEREMY
Fair enough.

STEPHEN
(during applause/laugh break)
Very good point.

JEREMY
If you weren’t showing off, you could have said “reject”.

STEPHEN
Yes, indeed. You’re absolutely right. Though it’s not bad grammar, is it? It’s just bad semantics.

JEREMY
Yeah, whatever.


And since we’re on the topic of language, here’s a hilarious clip on spelling (spoiler alert: “i before e except after c” is wrong):



* I particularly avoided using the term “trivia” here. While the questions/answers on QI may not be terribly useful for most people in their everyday lives, these facts are certainly not useless, unimportant, or inconsequential– i.e., “trivial”. Let’s just say they’re the finer details.
** It’s actually a (ambitious!) 26-year long project with each series covering topics that begin with a different letter of the alphabet.


Selections From My High School Yearbook

1997 Pine Bush High School Yearbook
1997 PBHS Yearbook - "Windows"
I have a general policy of only friending people on Facebook that I actually a) have met in real life and b) know to some extent (not just met in passing once– unless you’re really awesome). Despite those requirements, some people have managed to slip through– sadly, I’ve accepted or even made friend requests for some people that years later, I can barely remember how I knew them in the first place. Or perhaps even worse, I’ve friended people from high school only to have to go back and look them up in my old yearbooks because I can’t remember much about them or, after seeing some posts, realize they’re not who I thought they were. I know– it kind of makes me a horrible classmate, acquaintance, friend, maybe even person (hopefully only a little bit).

On the bright side though, this has given me the opportunity to look through my old high school yearbooks and aside from the great photos, quotes and other random content, the notes people wrote when they signed my yearbook are, more often than not, quite lengthy and, more importantly, still pretty entertaining. So, aside from numerous mentions of Stanford and then-future classmate Chelsea Clinton, here are some of the best selections (slightly edited) from my unfortunately-themed (“Windows”) high school yearbook from 1997, my senior year. I’ll leave them anonymous to protect the innocent, goofy teens of our past (unless you want to be attributed, though I wonder if you can recognize your own):

Interesting intellectual and political commentary:

  • “Well, in excess of our ideological differences, I did enjoy talking with you… May all your capitalistic dreams come true and live life to the fullest. Peace, love and socialism. See you on the commune comrade, Comrade [name]. May McCarthy do what he will… I will fight on.”
  • “Sile et philosophus esto.* But qui tacet consentit!** As bees practice geometry, eagles do not catch flies.”

Optimistic view of my future:

  • “Don’t forget me Sindy when you’re rich and famous and found a cure for cancer… Why? Well, because I have you and [cute boy] sleeping over my house tonight.”
  • If you ever become rich and famous, send me $.”

And the usual, but still touching and much-appreciated messages on friendship and best wishes:

  • “I’m really happy that we bonded this year through our friend or actually your life- the computer.”
  • “Stay the way you are b/c you’re a cool chick that I really respect.”
  • “Je t’aimerai toujours comment la sœur ne je n’ai jamais eu.*** There is a use for my useless knowledge; it makes you laugh! Thanks for sharing yours with me.”
  • “I leave you… a group of men who can appreciate attractive and intelligent women. Go to the beach in November for me… Smile, don’t let people get to you. Let them know you’re from New York. There’s always a plate of food for you at my house… Put on ‘Hungry Like A Wolf’ again.”
  • “Well, knowing you has been interesting… Now [list of friends one year behind me] are the new senior class. Havoc, chaos, practical jokes, polite molestations and nudity will fill the halls of Pine Bush.”

I might follow up with more from earlier yearbooks, but in the meantime and in all seriousness, thanks to everyone who wrote such nice things way back then. Hope everyone is doing well!

* Latin: Hold your tongue and you will pass for a philosopher.
** French: He who remains silent consents.
*** French: I will always love you like the sister I never had.


Video: Womyn (Kids in the Hall)

Despite my recent run-in with the YouTube copyright police, I decided to post this Kids in the Hall sketch, entitled “Womyn”. I wasn’t worried about the copyright issue (although I did get a different kind of copyright message) since the most popular video on my YouTube channel is “God is Dead”, another KITH sketch, that I posted back in 2005. Instead of filing DMCA complaints against fans, KITH has thanked fans for uploading their favorite clips in the past, I myself receiving a thank you message.

So, here it is– KITH genius all the way back from season 1 (1989-1990), episode 2, “Womyn”:


The Daily Show on DC, NPR, Juan Williams

Excellent (as usual) Daily Show segment on the NPR/Juan Williams firing. I already tweeted the hilarious part on DC’s city design/architecture (do you know how to navigate a roundabout?), especially re: all of the columns on the buildings– “… simultaneously magnificent and useless… like they designed the whole thing as a metaphor.” But the best part is discussion between Team Black and Team Muslim, having fun by playing on the irrational fear of Blacks and Muslims, culminating with Aasif Mandvi’s response to the accusation that their behavior only feeds into things:

“If they’re not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?”

The Bay Fish & Chips

I finally tried The Bay Fish & Chips last week and it has that greasy spoon with great food feeling. Aside from pleasantly big, deep-fried pieces of fish, they also offer shrimp, calamari, scallops, etc. And aside from classic chips, they also have deep-fried mushrooms, zucchini, artichoke, onion rings, etc.

What’s twisted, though? The fish tank with two giant goldfish swimming around, sitting right there, up on the counter, with a good view to where they cook the fish.

Robert is Bothered

I love Twilight (really, almost to an unhealthy degree…) and think Robert Pattinson is great– loved him first as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. More recently, check him out in Little Ashes and How to Be to appreciate him fully as an actor, not just ridiculously good-looking, brooding, “good” vampire Edward Cullen.

Having said that, I love Jimmy Fallon too and these spots he does are hilarious. Here’s the one on Snickers Ads:

Check out more at Robert is Bothered.